Hands up if you might be guilty too!
I hate to say it but when I came home from holidays recently and saw my outdoor chairs looking rather old and frayed, my first thought was to just get rid of them and buy a new setting. Yeah, that's right, we live in a disposable society after all, don't we? Well maybe we do but that doesn't mean that it's the right thing to do. So what were my options - try to repair it myself (have you seen my sewing!); get a friend to make me some new covers and trade off our skills; get a professional upholsterer to make me some new covers; or buy a new setting and dispose of the old one? Well before I made my final decision I thought I'd ring around and find an upholsterer in my local area (it's so good to support our local businesses) to get a quote so I could weigh up the price of repairing versus a new outdoor setting. Wow, was I surprised, I ended up getting my outdoor chair covers made it a better quality material for a quarter of the price a new setting would have cost me. A win/win solution for me..maybe your solution would have been different? Either way, it got me thinking about how I go about making decisions like this in the future.
I recently came across a post on Pinterest from http://zuiverewol.nl/ that outlined the process to go through when you want to buy something and want to shop ethically.
1. First we get the thought, desire, want, craving to buy something. Yep, we all know that feeling but then we need to ask ourselves a very important question.....
2. Do I really need it? Oh, I hate this question it's like I hear it every time I go grocery shopping with my husband! We need to start to discern our thinking and differentiate between a need and a want. If it is a want then we need to really start thinking about why we want something. Are we just looking for a distraction from our everyday life or a negative situation? Are we trying to fill a hole in our lives with buying stuff rather than taking the time to address the real problem? Hey, no judgement here, I'm right there with you, but maybe we need to give this some more thought and get help if we need it. I'll be talking about some options to get over the want crave in a forthcoming blog post.
3. If it is truly a need then ask yourself, does it need to be new? If it does then please look to see if you can buy it ethically or if not, buy a quality piece that will last and won't have to be replaced in a few months time.
4. If it doesn't have to be new then there are other options open to us like borrowing from a friend, buying it from a second-hand shop, or hiring it out from specialist stores like Woodfox that hires out designer clothing and accessories (see https://www.woodfox.com.au/ ) or Brisbane Vintage Crockery Hire that hires out beautiful crockery for your events (see http://www.brisbanevintagecrockeryhire.com.au/).
So let's leave the guilt behind - it doesn't do anyone any good anyway - but let's try implementing another way of thinking before we immediately go jumping into our spend and consume mode. Would love to hear your ideas on how you shop for your needs! Please leave your comment in the section below.
Til next time